Brought to you by Seahorse magazine, Scuttlebutt Europe is a digest of sailing news and opinions, regatta results, new boat and gear information and letters from sailors -- with a European emphasis. Contributions welcome, send to

Hugo Boss Mast Break
Friday morning at roughly 0130 GMT whilst sailing upwind at 25 knots, the team progress to New York has been interrupted when their mast broke. The reason for the broken mast is currently unknown; however, the on-board team, which includes skippers Alex Thomson, Pepe Ribes, Ryan Breymaier and crewmember, Willy Altadill are all safe and have stabilized the mast. Alex has reported that there is no damage to the boat or sails and they will continue to Newport, Rhode Island.

The broken section has been secured and the boat is able to sail with the remaining mast and they are on route to Newport RI. At the moment our intention is to make a suitable repair to allow Pepe and Ryan to take part in the race but until the boat is in port and fully assessed we cannot finalise our plans...

www.alexthomsonracing.com

Slow Going In The Atlantic Cup
Three boats are tied to one another this morning as we watch the fleet come around Cape Hatteras and begin the second half of this first leg of the 2014 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing. Pleiad Racing holds a narrow lead over Dragon and Gryphon Solo II with all three boats within three miles of one another. This morning saw the teams awake to a high pressure moving to the South and East of them, providing for some light southerly breeze.

Today's challenge will be the timing of the inevitable shift later on this afternoon to a more westerly direction. Does one take the risk to head closer to shore to get to the shift first? Will that take them out of the otherwise dominant northerly Gulf Stream current? Do you instead let the breeze lift you from behind, in hopes of gybing later than the competition to get into a lower lane? These are the questions plaguing all three teams this morning.

* From Joe Harris on Gryphon Solo2

I haven't been stuck in a flat calm like this for some time. Just glassy seas and cloudless skies as far as the eye can see. There seems to be some wind up at the masthead but no wind down here on deck.

We were becalmed much of last night but we were still making progress as we were in the Gulf Stream current that was dragging us in generally the right direction. The dolphins and sharks are surfacing around us.. probably also wondering why we are just hanging around, but we are out of that now and have no other helper.

The GRIB weather files certainly indicated a high pressure center in our path, but does show more wind than we 've got- which is zero.

Our fellow competitors "Dragon" are to the west of us and "Pleiad" is in front of us now since we had the "re-start" at Cape Hatteras caused by the lack of wind. MacFarlane Racing seems to be further back and I'm not sure what's going on with them.

I also thought our fifth boat "Flatline" was going to join us at some point but she is now listed as "retired"

It is just so ironic that the wind has just shut off after such a windy and fast first half of the race from Charleston to Hatteras. We were making plans for our early arrival in NYC. Not so fast.

www.atlanticcup.org

Marinepool Club And Crew Jacket Collection 2014 - A Sportive Look And Maritime Chic In Classic Style
Marine Pool 2014 has seen the introduction of a new Club and Crew Jacket line that is the perfect outfit for get togethers in the clubhouse, an apres sail drink in the cockpit or for any trip both on water and land. Garments for all occasions and events that require a sportive look in a classic style.

There is hardly any other sport that is similarly demanding on clothing than sailing. Garments used on boats or for regattas require highest reliability in terms of waterproofness, breathability, abrasion resistance. Functional cuts, light weight and further intelligent design features are indispensable - and the ideal crew wear brings all these qualities together. Furthermore, sailing as a sport and lifestyle reaches beyond the action on board and on race courses. Maritime clothing has a wide appeal and has become a way of living for many. The functionality of the garments is a welcome add-on and asset. The new Club and Crew Jacket collection by Marinepool is designed for racing crews, club teams, the ambitious amateur and fashion conscious water sports enthusiast alike. The utilization of technical high-quality fabrics ensures crucial features in terms of function such as breathability, wind and waterproofness and highest wearing comfort.

Consequently, these products can be used for racing, day sailing and any other dynamic outdoor activities. Maritime colours and fashionable details such as the striped knitted sleeve cuffs, collar and hem of the "Storm Jacket", available for men, women and kids bring a casual touch to the functional jackets. In combination with jeans, chino trousers, shirts or polo shirts and with its stylish design, the "Cruising Jacket" is the perfect outer layer for casual looks or sportive elegant outfits.

The new Marinepool club and crew jacket collection.

Design. Technology. Passion.

marinepool.com

Rolex Farr 40 North Americans
Long Beach, California: After tearing up race courses on the East Coast for the past two years, there has been a change of scenery for the grand prix Farr 40s as action in the Northern Hemisphere has relocated to the west coast for 2014. The next chapter in the class' history will be written this week at the Rolex Farr 40 North Americans when the 19 registered owner-drivers go head-to-head over four days of racing (May 14-17) hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club.

To handicap the field, one needs look no further than the 2014 season opener held at Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club in March:

Alberto Rossi and his Italian team on Enfant Terrible scored the first win of the season to pick up right where they left off last fall when they won the 2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship in Newport, R.I. Annapolis' Kevin McNeil at the helm of Nightshift, who was second at the worlds (after losing a tie-breaker to Rossi), finished behind New York's Alexander Roepers, on PLENTY, to round out the top-three at the CBYC event.

Not to be undervalued are two class stalwarts: Chicago's Helmut Jahn on Flash Gordon 6, the2012 Farr 40 World Champion, or Wolfgang Schaefer on the German-flagged Struntje light. When you factor in the local threats, including Jeff Janov, who drove Dark Star to the Rolex Farr 40 North American title when it was last held in Long Beach, in 2011, the California tour is shaping up to be full of heated competition.

farr40.org

Creme De La Creme
Rob Weiland watches as the wraps come off the first TP52 to be built to the new 2015 class rule

The first TP52 built to the 2015 TP52 Rule is sailing. 'Phoenix is her name' and my undoubtedly biased opinion is she is a stunner.

Visible change from Rolex Capri Sailing Week onwards will be the 2015-sized bowsprits and corresponding larger kites. Capri, Porto Cervo, Palma and Ibiza should bring the mix of conditions that over around 37 races without discard produces a worthy winner. We start in Capri with a nine-boat fleet and our new title sponsor Barclays, both very positive developments.

Planning for 2015 is to have a five-event 52 Super Series raced in co-operation with clubs and ports in the western Med. I expect a number of new builds - between six and nine boats - and we judge it good policy not to start travelling a lot straightaway but give teams time close to their home bases to sort out these new boats. Next month I hope to be able to announce names, designers and builders and in July event dates and locations.

The commitment to run the Super Series for at least three more years and introduce the 2015 Rule, producing faster and better-looking racing machines, has triggered early interest and planning. Which also opens the door for others to step in relatively late, until the end of 2014, and still be in time to race from May 2015, if one of the by then existing moulds are used.

Meanwhile, at least three very good 'latest model' TP52s which are easy to upgrade to the 2015 Rule will have come on the market.

Full article in Seahorse magazine:
www.seahorsemagazine.com

Garda Trentino Olympic Week
Strong winds disrupted the final day of the Garda Trentino Olympic Week, but nothing was going to stop Robert Scheidt taking the Laser gold to add to his numerous world titles and Olympic medals. Second went to the Frenchman Jean Bernal (sixth in the medal race) and third to Britain's Nick Thomson.

The Paralympic medals were decided earlier with Britain's Alexandra Rickam and Niki Birrell taking the gold in the Skud18 event. Barend Kol of the Netherlands won the 2.4mR and the Sonar went to Italy's Cristiano D' Agaro and his crew.

No racing for the 49er's. So results stayed as prevously. Winners of the women's FX were Martina Grael and Kunze Kahena Kunze of Brazil (after protest), second Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech of New Zealand followed by Leonie Meyer and Elena Stoffers of Germany. Britain's Kate MacGregor and Katrina Best were eighth. In the men's it was a French victory for the crew D'ortoli - Delpech.

Annalise Murphy of Ireland took gold in the Radial class. In the 470 men, Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic of Croatia took gold and Roberto Caputo and Alice Sinno of Italy took the gold in the 470 women's event.

Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia SIcouri of Italy won the Nacra17. Luka Mratovic of Croatia won the men's RS:X and Flavia Tartaglini of Italy the women's RS:X. -- Gerald New, Sailweb.co.uk

Event site: www.velagardatrentino.com

Fuel Cells - Winning The Race For Power
Fuel Cell Systems UK Solent 6.50 Race The technology is not new but the newest compact lightweight design makes Fuel Cell the winning solution for on-board power.

Ideal for the racing yacht where less diesel needs to be carried, and in some cases fewer domestic batteries are needed; making small but vital weight savings. While for cruising; a noisy generator/engine disrupting the quiet calm at the end of a days sailing is avoided.

Piece of mind is provided as the fuel cell constantly monitors the battery and only starts charging once it drops below your predetermined level. Installation is simple; a few mounting and connection steps and you are ready to go.

Small in size but big in power; the most popular marine fuel cell is the EFOY from SFC. Ranges from 40w to 105w are available. As a guide, the EFOY 140 (72w) will produce 1.7kWh each day and on a 30-40ft yacht daily usage averages at around 1.4kWh. Therefore in conjunction with your batteries the fuel cell ensures you will have more than enough power.

With zero emissions, silent operation and low operational supervision required...you can race while the fuel cell looks after your power.

www.fuelcellsystems.co.uk

Lorient Grand Prix, Part Two
From an interview with Christophe Baudry in 2013 and the announcement of the Lorient stopover for the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean

In March 2010, Lorient signed an agreement with the Volvo Ocean Race for two stopovers in the town for both the 2010-11 and 2014-15 races. "I wasn't directly involved with bringing the Volvo Ocean Race to Lorient, but the people in Lorient asked me if it would be interesting to have the Volvo Ocean Race here and I said 'Yes, that is interesting. If you go there you should not sign up for just one edition, because if you do that you will have put in a lot of work to ensure that the Volvo Ocean Race returns to France, and after that they can choose again between La Rochelle, Le Havre, our town or I don't know where for the next edition, so you will have put in a lot of time and energy for repeating something and you won't get the rewards and benefits, so it is not my advice that you sign for a one-off event', so that is how it happened," said Christophe Baudry. "They [the Volvo Ocean Race] found that the French market was very important for the identity of Volvo - the cars and the trucks - and so after that they said, 'Yes, we will return to France'." The Volvo Ocean Race had not been to France since La Rochelle in 2002 prior to this.

The 2011 Lorient stopover cost 3.2 million Euros, financed from public funds, private partners and commercialization in the village (hospitalities, exhibitions, food and beverage, etc). The economic impact of the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in 2011 was 22.6 million Euros. There were 250,000 visitors including 7,500 school children, and 12,500 corporate guests, with 3,000 corporate guests attending on the water racing (in-port and departure of the last leg from Lorient to Galway), and 7,500 people sailed on the mini-VOR boats [actually boats from the Tour de France a la Voile]. There were 2,500 people involved in hosting the stopover over the seventeen days, with a large proportion of these being volunteers. Lorient Grand Large has just four employees. -- Anne Hinton in SailRaceWin:

sailracewin.blogspot.fr

Tribute To David Thomas at Royal Southern
The modest genius of David Thomas, arguably Britain's most prolific and influential yacht designer, was celebrated in style at a Royal Southern Yacht Club dinner packed with family, friends and many of those who have taken to the water in one of his boats.

David was lauded by numerous speakers for the immeasurable pleasure his many and various designs have provided over a career spanning half a century. The evening also marked David's 25th year as a member of the Royal Southern.

The main speaker Peter Poland, a long-standing friend of David, built many of his designs as co-owner of Hunter Boats. "David has an instinctive understanding of what sailors want - he has been the Pied Piper of yacht designers, that's his secret," said Peter. "People from all divisions of sailing have sailed out on a David Thomas design. They will go on for ever. "He is also responsible for the largest one-design fleet in Round the Island Race history, 105 Sigma 33s, a record that will never be beaten."

Peter highlighted a number of David's innovative design features, including hull chines which have since become commonplace, and the sheer range of his yachts, from Sonata and Impala to the Sigma 33 and 38, and from the 707 to 67-foot round-the-world Challenge yachts. He also raised the biggest laugh of the evening speculating on the 'number of babies made in the forepeak of a David Thomas yacht'.

Another collaborator, Jonty Sherwill, worked with David in the mid-80s on the interior design of the Sigma 362, Sigma 38 and other projects. Pressed on his favourite DT design, he added: "That's a tricky one, all of his boats have great character, but the one of his that caught my eye first was in the 1970s, the Impala. It was a really pretty boat and remains competitive still, it's a little gem."

www.royal-southern.co.uk

The Castex Cup Cancelled Due To High Winds
The "Castex Cup", is a sporting challenge sailing event between Britain's Joint Services Command and Staff College and its French counterpart, the Ecole de Guerre (War College), and was to have taken place on Saturday, May 10th at Cowes, in the renowned and tactical waters of the Solent, the stretch of water that separates the mainland and the Isle of Wight.

However, after a superb dinner held at the Royal Yacht Squadron on the Friday night, Saturday morning saw high winds sweeping the Solent, making it thus impossible, for safety reasons, to run the Regatta, which had been planned to be contested that day out on the water, in the Island Sailing Club's Sonars.

On Saturday evening the different crews, the race team and guests dined at the Island Sailing Club. During the dinner, speeches were given and gifts exchanged by Rear Admiral James Morse, Commandant of the Joint Services Command and Staff College and Vice Admiral Marc de Briancon, Commandant of the Ecole de Guerre.

After the presentations and speeches the assembled company moved to the lounge bar where they joined the crew of the Donald Searle, part of the Gemini Sailing Project for people with severe learning difficulties, which was in Cowes for the evening. A spontaneous 'singing competition' broke out - a parallel to the Eurovision Song Contest also being held that evening - with English, French, Breton and Swedish sea shanties ringing to the club's rafters,

The two colleges now eagerly anticipate next year and a new round of the Castex Cup, contested as much on shore as at sea!

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Euan Ross: Bob Fisher is right of course in emphasising the allure of extreme and gloriously impracticable craft. With the exception of the post-war austerity 12 metre era and a few early challenges like the chintz and china 'Galatea', the Cup has always been about extreme platforms pushing the boundaries of marine technology. For many of us that's why the design intrigue and psychological hullabaloo is often more fascinating than the races, which are often processional; and why the proposed introduction of one design elements is an anathema.

On the other hand, while few defenders were built to last, they usually bridged successive challenges before being scrapped and thus supported design evolution and extend participation. And those that didn't, specifically Herrishoff's notorious 'Reliance' which resembled nothing so much as a giant Alka-Seltzer, did at least usher in a new respect for rather more durable yachts.

My issue with AC 33, 34 and 35, is that the game is being played in a way which suggests that the declared aim (of using the Cup to develop yachting as a viable commercial sport with reasonably broad international participation) is frankly disingenuous in the context of the continuing shenanigans surrounding equipment and competition formats. Obviously, if the Defender keeps 'levelling the playing field', the campaign with the biggest budget benefits disproportionately - occasional left-field innovations like TNZ foiling notwithstanding.

Oracle seem to want a return to the old billionaire vrs billionaire model so that they can hang onto the Cup indefinitely, while enjoying the kind of public interest and goodwill that once characterised the Lipton Challenges. That's fine if that's what it's going to be, but it's a model that sits uneasily with the idea of 'growing' the sport of yachting in the 21st Century.

* From Cory Friedman: With all due respect to my friend Bob Fisher, before he titles his next book "The Fascination of Sin," he needs to do more hands on research on sin. I suggest the advice of Mae West: "When forced to chose between two evils, I always chose the one I haven't tried before."

Featured Brokerage
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Currently rigged with a tiller, twin wheels could be relatively easily fitted if preferred Yacht was refitted and sailed in 2013 under her new name and competed in a few regattas and her record was superb, and significantly fast in breeze.

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See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/

The Last Word
The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering. -- Benjamin Spock

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Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html

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